Individual- and group-level sex ratios under local mate competition : consequences of infanticide and reproductive dominance
Lehtonen, J., Malabusini, S., Guo, X., & Hardy, I. C. W. (2023). Individual- and group-level sex ratios under local mate competition : consequences of infanticide and reproductive dominance. Evolution Letters, 7(1), 13-23. https://doi.org/10.1093/evlett/qrac005
Published inEvolution Letters
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) and European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEN)
Extremely female-biased sex ratios of parasitoid wasps in multiple-foundress groups challenges evolutionary theory which predicts diminishing bias as foundress numbers increase. Recent theory based on foundress cooperation has achieved qualitative rather than quantitative success in explaining bias among parasitoids in the genus Sclerodermus. Here, we develop an explanation, expanding the theory of local mate competition, based on the observation that male production seems dominated by some foundresses within groups. Two sex ratio effects arise from such reproductive dominance: an immediate effect via suppression of male production, and a long-term evolutionary response to reproductive skew. We analyze the outcome of these effects at the individual and group level, the latter being more readily observable. Three model scenarios are analyzed: (1) random killing of developing sons in a group by all foundresses, without reproductive skew, (2) the development of reproductive dominance by some foundresses after sex allocation decisions by all foundresses have been implemented, and (3) reproductive dominance within foundress groups before sex allocation decisions are implemented. The 3 scenarios have subtly different implications for sex ratio evolution, with Models 2 and 3 being novel additions to theory, showing how reproductive dominance can alter the outcome of sex ratio evolution. All models match observations in their outcomes better than other recently proposed theory, but Models 2 and 3 are closest to observations in their underlying assumptions. Further, Model 2 shows that differential offspring mortality after parental investment can influence the primary sex ratio even when random with respect to parental and offspring characters, but targeted at entire clutches. The novel models are solved for both diploid and haplodiploid genetic systems, and confirmed with simulations. Overall, these models provide a feasible explanation for the extremely female-biased sex ratios produced by multi-foundress groups and expand the scope of local mate competition theory to consider reproductive dominance. ...
PublisherEuropean Society of Evolutionary Biology; Society for the Study of Evolution; Oxford University Press
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Related funder(s)Research Council of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Research Fellow, AoF
Additional information about fundingS.M. thanks the University of Helsinki for hospitality during the development of this modeling study. We thank K.S. Shameer and Baoping Li for useful discussion. J.L. was funded by an Academy of Finland grant (340130). S.M. was partially funded by the “linea 2” projects “Biodiversity a hint to sustain environment (BIO-HIT)” and “New emergences in cultural heritage management (ALERT)”, financed by the University of Milan. X.G. was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC 31570389). I.C.W.H. acknowledges support from the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies for the research group program “Mathematical modeling of biological control interactions to support agriculture and conservation.” ...
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